|Figure 1: Posts and Rim Joists, Side View from the South
I wanted the fort to feel "up high" to my kids, so we put the deck about four feet off the ground.
|Platform in progress. The temporary diagonals between the joists keep it square.
The deck is a six foot square platform built with a 2x8" rim joist and 2x4" joists. The joists are supported by a perpendicular 2x4" screwed to the rim joist, as shown in Figure 3. I opted to use this method instead of more expensive joist hangers as the span is short and the load is relatively small.
|Figure 3: Joist Support, Side View from the South
|Figure 4: Platform, Top View, North Up
I stick-built the enclosure from un-treated 2x4" lumber. The enclosure is a four by six foot structure, four feet tall on one side and six feet tall on the other.
|Figure 6: Enclosure Side View (From the East)
|Enclosure with plywood sheathing
I ran 2x4" rafters from the west (lower) side to the east (higher) side, covered that with plywood, and then used tin roofing.
My parents gave us some extra cedar shingles, enough to cover about half of the enclosure. The only place I could find additional cedar shingles was Fleet Farm. We stained them and stapled them.
I used cedar boards for decking on the porch and treated cedar tone 2x2" boards for the railing.
I used 1" pine boards to build box windows, then I use a table saw to cut grooves in them for insect screen attachment.
|Window with grooves cut for rubber screen attachment
Nuts and Bolts
For most structural connections I used GRK 2.5" star drive self-piloting construction screws. These are more expensive than most other screws, but the cost is absolutely worth it. Note that as the rim joists sit directly on the posts, I did not need to use lag bolts.
|The best screws in the universe